Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
LoreD

Did CNN Stack the Audience Against Bernie Sanders at His Town Hall?

Recommended Posts

Did CNN Stack the Audience Against Bernie Sanders at His Town Hall?

 

https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2019/02/did-cnn-stack-the-audience-for-bernies-town-hall-l.html

 

Monday night, Bernie Sanders did a town hall on CNN, and for the most part, he was asked substantive questions and answered in kind. One minor exception came in a question about the sexual harassment that took place in his 2016 campaign. His response to the initial reports was too dismissive, and last night he wasn’t able to fully articulate how he would stop it from happening again, other than saying that his campaign is committing lots of resources and he will have the “strongest protocols” and utilize an “independent commission” that people can bring their complaints to, without really elaborating on who or what that commission would do.

 

The bigger problem here is that we find ourselves in a confusing situation thanks to cable news not adhering to basic standards of journalism. (Unfortunately, that’s an evergreen sentence.) When I watched the town hall live last night, this question seemed completely normal and well within the bounds of what Bernie was brought there to talk about, but now that it has been revealed that the question was asked by an intern at a major lobbying firm, you cannot help but wonder about the intent behind this, as well as CNN’s role in selecting this questioner while not disclosing her workplace.

 

Again, Bernie's campaign issues with sexual harassment are a major storyline going into 2020 and given that he still hasn't completely addressed it, he should be asked these questions. The problem is that when the question comes from an intern at a major DC lobbying shop—and that fact is not disclosed—you cannot help but wonder who really asked that question of Bernie. And a closer look at Cassidy & Associates' financial partners paints a picture of a group that really, really would not enjoy a Sanders presidency.

 

If it was just this one questioner, we could chalk it up to a mistake, or an acknowledgement that CNN reasonably didn't believe that an intern needed to disclose her workplace. But this wasn't just one questioner. There were a bunch of audience members who are far more active in politics than CNN disclosed. Watching the town hall live made it seem as if these were just folks from all walks of life, when in reality many of these supposedly innocuous questioners were political operatives in one way or another.

 

— CNN called Tara Ebersole a “former biology professor” when her LinkedIn page lists her current job description as “Chair, Baltimore County Democratic Party” since 2016. Further, her husband was part of Hillary Clinton's leadership council in Baltimore in 2016.

 

— Yunjung Seo was simply called a “George Washington Student” by CNN, despite her LinkedIn page saying she also works for the Katz Watson Group, a fundraising and consulting outlet.

 

According to her LinkedIn, Seo’s a BBA candidate for finance and political science at George Washington University. She’s also listed as being an intern for Katz Watson Group. This group provides fundraising and consultation services to political candidates. Seo’s just a sophomore in college and she’s only been interning with Katz Watson for two months

 

— Michelle Gregory was simply listed as a “Maryland voter” by CNN, but a cursory Google search reveals her to be much more active in politics than just voting.

 

Really the only problem in all this is that because CNN did not disclose many of these questioners’ ties to politics, one cannot help wonder why. The famed Bobby Knight quote of “stupid loses more games than smart wins” is Occam’s Razor here, as Wolf Blitzer isn’t exactly universally respected and we have documented CNN’s struggles with the truth before, but the nefarious angle is the elephant in that Washington D.C. room.

 

Again, the questions themselves last night were almost entirely fine on the surface. Bernie should face tough questions like any other presidential candidate, but we should put all of our cards on the table when going through this stuff (which doubles as my central criticism of Bernie’s handling of the sexual harassment revelations). CNN bringing up these so-called “voters” to ask some of the most politically perilous questions for Bernie comes off as incredibly shady, and doubly so since they didn’t reveal their backgrounds. CNN was either pushing an agenda, or they failed at a very basic tenet of journalism. I don’t have enough information to come to a firm conclusion about CNN’s motivation, but if I assumed that these multiple oversights were intentional as part of a larger anti-Bernie agenda, there would be more journalistic rationale behind my assertion than CNN’s belief that they can get away with characterizing the current Chair of the Baltimore County Democratic Party as simply a “former biology professor.” Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are a few more people who asked questions:

 

https://heavy.com/news/2019/02/questioners-bernie-sanders-cnn-town-hall-bios/

 

-Abena McAllister was listed in the town hall as a mother of two and an active Democrat.

 

She’s a member of the Charles County Democratic Central Committee, according to a bio about her on Charles County Democrats.

 

From her Facebook page:  "Congratulations to Abena McAllister on being elected Chair of the Charles County Democratic Central Committee"

 

-Chioma Iwuoha asked the reparations question. The CNN caption shared that she worked for a nonprofit.

 

She’s actually Director of Development for Capital Partners for Education and has been there for five months, according to her LinkedIn. The organization’s board of directors includes Booze Allen Hamilton executives and the Carlyle Group. In October, she wrote on Facebook that she loved her job because she gets to serve low-income youth and she gets to do work that she loves. “Everything I prayed for in a job is what I received,” she happily shared.

 

In the past, she ran to be an at large committeewoman for the DC Democratic State Committee. She was also part of the Dump Trump group, as many Democrats are.

 

-Jaqueline Smith was listed as a Circuit Court Clerk.

 

She won a tough contest against Republican Jackson Miller, who was favored to win because he had more cash on hand for the election, Fauqier Times reported. But Smith won 53 percent of the vote. She has an eight-year term. She said she won because of small-dollar donors and grassroots efforts. Her listing appears accurate on CNN.

 

-Troy Donte Prestwood was listed as a community organizer in Washington, D.C.

 

He’s the founder and CEO of Prestwood PR, a public relations organization that works for some local and national organizations. Donte is also a supporter of Cory Booker, who’s running for President too, according to his social media posts. It certainly wouldn’t disqualify Troy from asking the question, but knowing his background might have made the question even more interesting to watch. There was no need for CNN to include that information, however.

 

Prestwood ran for the Democratic State Committee in June and was described as an “inspiring community leader.” He was part of the Dump Trump group.

 

Some people have reported trouble sharing tweets about this topic on Facebook, with the posts labeled by Facebook as abusive. A post about this on one of the Bernie Sanders subreddits was also locked, but other discussions are still active.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

IMO:----   Although CNN neglected to provide important parts of some of the questioners backgrounds, it appears not to have been motivated by any bias against Bernie.  As the town hall unfolded, Bernie supporters asked the tougher questions, indicating that the questioners who were not Bernie supporter were not out to hurt him either.  The larger audience of those who didn't ask questions applauded Bernie frequently enough to establish that they were not picked to be hecklers.

 

And the final outcome was that Bernie put in a stellar performance, as a candidate.  He handled all questions with aplomb, showing comprehensive understanding of domestic and foreign issues.  He remained poised whether the questions were challenging or simple.   And for those who feel his age is a problem, Bernie demonstrated an uncommonly sharp mind by any standard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, bludog said:

 

IMO:----   Although CNN neglected to provide important parts of some of the questioners backgrounds, it appears not to have been motivated by any bias against Bernie.  As the town hall unfolded, Bernie supporters asked the tougher questions, indicating that the questioners who were not Bernie supporter were not out to hurt him either.  The larger audience of those who didn't ask questions applauded Bernie frequently enough to establish that they were not picked to be hecklers.

 

And the final outcome was that Bernie put in a stellar performance, as a candidate.  He handled all questions with aplomb, showing comprehensive understanding of domestic and foreign issues.  He remained poised whether the questions were challenging or simple.   And for those who feel his age is a problem, Bernie demonstrated an uncommonly sharp mind by any standard.

 

True, but I have been watching the level of bias in the discussions about Bernie.  I have, also, been seeing similar bias against Tulsi Gabbard.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/27/2019 at 2:56 PM, LoreD said:

 

True, but I have been watching the level of bias in the discussions about Bernie.  I have, also, been seeing similar bias against Tulsi Gabbard.

 

 

Sadly I missed the town hall. I was thinking how early it is in this race. But I can already tell, there are the same detractors to Bernie's message. I would just appreciate facts regarding the questions, most especially from the journalists who really should do some homework. 

 

https://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/article/depth-analysis-team-umass-amherst

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, birdwheat said:

does anyone worry about the the similarities between modern socialism and national socialism?

 

the two are very very very dissimilar, why do you ask?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×